The Leading Causes of Accidents: What NOT To Do on the Road

The Leading Causes of Accidents: What NOT To Do on the Road

When it comes to driving on the road, it’s incredibly important that we stay focused at all times. With distracting devices and an increase in the number of vehicles on the road, the risk of car accidents has risen over the years. Although many factors can contribute to car accidents, there are a few common causes that have been identified as a significant percentage of these unfortunate incidents. By understanding these causes and their impact on drivers, it can help create preventative measures and policy changes that will make our roads safer for everyone. Below you’ll find five of the leading causes of car accidents that will teach you what NOT to do when driving.

1. Distracted Driving

It’s unfortunate, but true; distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents all around the world. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claims thousands of lives every year. With smartphones becoming so prevalent in today’s age, texting while driving has become a rampant issue that needs to be fixed. It only takes a moment of distraction for a catastrophic accident to occur. 

Other forms of distraction include eating, talking with passengers beside you or on the phone, adjusting the radio or GPS, and even daydreaming. With so many ways to get distracted, it is of utmost importance that people stay focused and alert on the road. This important choice you make is one that could save or end a life.

alexandre-boucher-BNrlDv8w07Y-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Alexandre Boucher on Unsplash

2. Speeding

You’re probably no stranger to hearing cars revving their engines and speeding down the highway. Unfortunately, speeding is another major contributor to car accidents. It’s quite simple - when drivers exceed the speed limit, they’re not only reducing their own reaction time but they’re also affecting other drivers around them who may not have anticipated their vehicle’s speed. Additionally, the severity of crashes is significantly worse due to the higher speed. 

Despite well-publicized speed limits and threats of heavy fines, many drivers still choose to speed, often due to impatience or overconfidence in their driving skills. This dangerous act poses a threat to everyone around them. While stricter enforcement of speed limits and public awareness of the dangers of speeding can help to reduce these types of accidents, it’s ultimately up to the driver to choose safe driving.

mauro-sbicego-PnhEJJ6lwvo-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Mauro Sbicego on Unsplash

3. Drunk Driving

Despite very strict laws and penalties surrounding drunk driving, it still continues to be a major cause of car accidents and fatalities around the world. This one is just common sense - alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, negatively impacting their reaction time, coordination, and judgment. Despite numerous public safety campaigns and legal consequences, drunk driving continues to be a persistent problem. If you’re planning on drinking while out, make sure you have a designated driver or a safe way to get home without getting behind the wheel. You don’t want this one mistake to be one you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

johan-funke-fsShFki0www-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Johan Funke on Unsplash

4. Reckless Driving

Reckless driving consists of irresponsible behaviours done from behind the wheel. As a significant cause of road accidents, these behaviours include tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, not shoulder-checking, and not respecting traffic signs and signals. It’s more common for young, inexperienced drivers to engage in reckless driving because of their lack of understanding, but this is a reminder that all drivers should be exercising the proper safety measures at all times. It’s important to not let your impatience lead you to make dangerous choices.

daniele-la-rosa-messina-LkkjIG2f-0Y-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Daniele La Rosa Messina on Unsplash


5. Adverse Weather Conditions

While it's not one you can control yourself, adverse weather conditions significantly contribute to car accidents. Whether it’s rain, snow, fog, or severe icy conditions, bad weather can drastically reduce your visibility and cause trouble when you’re braking. Many drivers seem to underestimate these risks and fail to adjust their driving style to the weather, leading to accidents that could’ve easily been avoided. 

One thing you can do to drive more safely in these conditions is to purchase proper gear. Buying snow tires for the wintertime, replacing your windshield wipers for heavy rain, and making sure your fog lights are working, are all ways to keep you safer on the road as you face the unpredictability of the weather.

roberto-nickson-IOI3KCYsn0o-unsplash.jpgPhoto by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Although there are many causes of accidents on the road, these five are some of the more common ones that we should look to avoid. Practicing safe driving is not done only for yourself but for others around you as well. Making smart decisions can be the difference between a life or death situation, meaning you should always be careful not to make mistakes you’ll regret.


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